"He Shoots, he..."
One of the most fundamental rules in hockey is "Put the puck on the
net. Something good is bound to happen." (That and don't buy drinks
at the bar for the woman who looks like a 62-year old school nurse
wearing the Catwoman costume from Batman. Ewww!)
This is a rule that the St. Louis Blues have had no problem heeding.
In fact, they're eighth in the league in total shots on goal.
But it's the second half of the cause-effect relationship/hockey
saying that isn't happening for the Bluenotes. St. Louis, who was
last outshot in a 4-2 win back on Nov. 28 against Washington, is
20th in the league in shooting percentage with an 83.8 percent to
Even though that percentage isn't the worst in the league, it is a
cause for concern, considering the Blues' offense last season that
led the NHL in goals. But you won't see St. Louis General Manager
Larry Pleau banging the crap out of the panic button just yet.
"As long as we continue to get scoring chances," Pleau said, "I
think we're going to find a way to win some games."
That there is an optimism that probably would not have happened with
GMs of the past, like Mike Kennan trading the farm for a couple of
former Oilers/Rangers he picked up at the retirement home. Even with
the lack of finishing on the squad, Pleau is content with sitting
back and seeing how things unfold, rather than making deal after deal
"I have a lot of patience," he said. "That's one thing I have a lot
Oh, What Did He Do Now?
He is continuously dubbed the best young defenseman in the game. At
times, his discipline on the ice really accentuates the word
Chris Pronger, the 6-foot-5, 207-pound captain of the Blues who
seems to lose control of his wood about as often as Pee Wee Herman,
was slapped with a four-game suspension by league high school
principal Colin Campbell for a slash he performed on Phoenix's
"Pronger swung his stick in an extremely reckless and dangerous
manner, and his stick made contact with the Phoenix player's head,"
said Campbell. "Deliberate blows to the head will not be tolerated
under any circumstances."
Pronger will lose $66,145.83 in salary during his suspension that
started with the Blues' 5-2 victory of Los Angeles. That loss of pay
means he can afford to buy about five less Furbies than he had
The play occurred in the opening minute of the second period of the
Dec. 17 game against Phoenix, wihch the Blues' won 3-2. Pronger,
who was being frustrated throughout the first period by the
Coyotes, had enough and swung at Roenick's head. Pronger received a
match penalty for intent to injure.
"That's endangering somebody's health," Roenick said. "There's no
need to take swings at guys' heads. That's bush league if you ask
The Blues will be without the services of Pronger and his defense
which put him third in the Norris Trophy voting last season.
The Blues have to face the Islanders, New Jersey, and Detroit
without him before he returns against the Red Wings in the second
part of a home- and-home series on Dec. 28.
Who The Hell Needs Hull?
With Brett Hull long gone and in the back of every Blues fan's mind,
(that is until Dallas plays St. Louis) the faithful have been
looking for a forward to step up and fill No. 16 skates.
Looks like that number is 26 more that the original -- No. 38 Pavol
The Slovakia native is currently atop the team's leaderboard in
scoring with 32 points coming on 16 goals and 16 helpers. Not a bad
way to start slipping those toes into the skates.
"He's as hot as they come right now, so we've got to keep giving him
the puck," said Craig Conroy.
Giving Demitra the puck are two people he can relate to.
Whenever they're up in the National Hockey League, fellow Slovakians
Lubos Bartecko and Michal Handzus join Pavol on the "Team Slovakia"
Given Demitra's natural ability, he is going to make his
countrymen/linemates look like the best forwards in the league.
"Anybody who plays with him . . . that's a pretty good line," said
Los Angeles Kings' goalie Jamie Storr, who faced Demitra and the
Blues Dec. 19, losing to them 5-2. "He's good offensively. And he
has very good hands. Anybody on his line is going to benefit from
For now, it's Demitra that's benefitting from his talent. His
playing is starting to help Blues fans forget about players of the
"Looked like Brett Hull out there," Conroy said.